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ITA started to emerge in the late nineteen-seventies around the Cátedra Mecánica de Fluidos of Valencia's Higher Technical School for Industrial Engineers, and has since that time done intensive university work and projects for advancement abroad in the fields of pressure hydraulics and the management of urban water. The group, in constant evolution, has been given different names over the years (Cátedra Mecánica de Fluidos,Unidad Docente Mecánica de Fluidos, Grupo Mecánica de Fluidos). At the present time our work is done in the framework jointly provided by Universitat Politècnica de València and the Generalitat Valenciana authority.
Right from its beginnings, the group's work centred on pressure hydraulics, becoming a reference on the national scale, with a clear international presence over the last decade. In recent times the need to provide a technical approach to water management matters has had a great influence on the group's new lines of influence. The work done over these forty years has been materialised in the many publications issued (books, monographs and research articles), extensive experience in postgraduate training and, in short, a constant presence on the Spanish and Latin-American panorama of urban water management.
The work done by the Cátedra Mecánica de Fluidos started to bear fruit in the early eighties.
At this time the first postgraduate training courses were arranged, with the Course on Hydraulic Engineering being quite unquestionably the most prominent. It was on these courses that the Chair's work was learned of by professionals in the sector and the Spanish water distribution companies.
This was when almost all the lines of research based on pressure hydraulics that have later been developed in the group were first got under way.
In 1987, on the occasion of the third edition of the course, we published the book "Hydraulic engineering applied to water distribution systems", which, in time and after several editions, would become one of the main references in the subject written in Spanish. The success of this and other courses constitute the embryo of the extensive training range which the ITA can give today.
In 1998, in order to make room for other teaching units, its title became Grupo Mecánica de Fluidos. The following year the ITA was set up, closely linked to the group right from the beginning.
In 2003 the Fluid Mechanics Group is dissolved, and the founders of the Chair of Fluid Mechanics establish at the ITA. Since then, under the new name, the ITA has embraced a number of projects and activities, including specialized training of professionals, and collaboration with companies and institutions in R&D.
Since 2010, online training assumes a leading role in the activity of the ITA. After more than 30 years of experience in training courses for professionals, the development of a catalog of online training courses achieve a remarkable success, systematically beating the expectations of the users taking the courses.
In 1985, with the promulgation of the university reform law, the group took on the name of "Unidad Docente Mecánica de Fluidos".
The nineteen-nineties were marked by the start of the group's international development.
In 1991 the first international conference was arranged, under the auspices of the IAHR, on hydraulic transients. It was soon after followed by the Hydrosoft conference (1992) and the 18th edition of the symposium of the hydraulic machinery section of the IAHR.
Also coinciding with the early nineties, the Teaching Unit started to participate in internationally financed R+D projects (mainly funded by the European Union), providing a considerable increase in the activity and consequently growth of the work group. Nevertheless, this development abroad did not hinder the continuing performance of activities on the national sphere, the foundation of the Water Engineering Journal and the intensive production of software connected with pressure hydraulics being more noteworthy aspects.
With the arrival of the new millennium, research topics related to water management are becoming stronger within the group. Projects and international ties related to these topics build up, while not disregarding traditional lines of research of the group.
The group and its researchers continue to increase their fields of activity with their participation in professional networks, international standardization committees, expert committees in Spain and Europe, and a wide spectrum of activities related to water management. In 2008, the Pi2008 conference on benchmarking and performance evaluation was organized. ITA also participates in the COST Action C18 of the European Union, on the net CYTED "Water City" and in a number of compelling research projects.
The ITA ends its participation in the TRUST Project, an international project funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme. In this project, ITA leads one of the Working Areas. At the same time, the Universitat Politècnica de València approves the Master's Degree in Efficient Urban Water Management, a fully-fledged online UPV degree that joins the ITA's more than 1000 hours of online training. Thousands of students from Spain and Latin America improve their knowledge of hydraulics and water management with the ITA.